Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Carl Hudecek
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In a recent topic I posted “Reducing the Manipulation Factor
in Robot Individuals” I proposed that the human player's FIRST call on every board be made by a robot.

This drew minor support and considerable derision, but I am convinced it would be a much better test of bridge skill.
July 17
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If you look at the boards where Justin got most of his tops and near-tops, he opened the bidding in his (by far) worst minor, and the bots co-operated by giving gifts.

My “censorship” would prevent this nonsense.
July 15
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For the reasons I specified in the title of this post and in the body:

“This will greatly increase the number of similar contracts and similar opening leads on boards, and take away much of the ”robot gaming luck“.”
July 14
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But in a 96 board tournament, why should you semi-psyche on half the boards, risking getting a near zero on perhaps 20 of them when your robot partner or you guess wrong, or the robot opponents figure a correct defense?
July 14
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GIB does not give standard count to me. When following
suit with 92 or 962 on my King or A lead, it plays 2.

So I always have to guess, like when I have AKJTxx and
dummy has Qx and very small trumps, whether to continue.

I find this very aggravating.
July 10
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I wrote an article on how this was done - but I failed to hit the “Publish” button so I will use this topic:

He opened 1NT on most hands 13+; 2NT with 17, and 2C showing 22+ with 21, and then had the cards lying well.

Bd 1 With pard a ph, opened 2NT on 17 - J32 AJ AJT8 KQJ6 and got to 3NT (Pard had 6 HCP). Only ones in game.

Bd 2 Open 1NT on 14 - Q62 A5 AK965 J72- the cards lay well.

Bd 3 Open 1NT on 11 - K92 AT964 82 A52 and caught DA onside (dummy had Kx), pard had 6 clubs Kxxxxx and THEY split 2-2.

Bd 4 Responded 2D on AKQ2 A2 863 AQ62 to pard's 1H opening. Caught opps D and H both 3-3 - but scored ONLY 75% !!

Bd 5 Open 2NT (20-21) on AQ92 7 AQ76 AT93 in 3rd chair. The robots give up four club tricks with Jxx opposite Qx.

Bd 6 FINALLY a “normal” 1S opener on AK972 8 QT97 A94 but robots gave entry to dummy's QJxx of C when he led Q and the opps won K on round 1 instead of ducking once.

Bd 7 Open 1NT on J42 K3 KQJT76 K6 and opps played 3SX down 500 vul wnen they overcompeted.

Bd 8 Open 2C (23+) on AK842 KQ AK Q954 and stayed out of spades when pard had Qxxx spade fit and uses Stayman over a 2NR opener. And then in the play, he guessed clubs for two
two tricks on an intrafinesse when dummy had A8x (instead of just playing for CK onside.

That's how it is done, and that's why I'm NOT playing.
July 9
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On Board ten he makes a clear error of not taking the first D with DA in hand. He still gets 95%.
July 6
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There will NOT be anywhere near 15,000 players. I played in the two practice rounds July 5 and 6, fully intending to play in the real thing. I had what I thought was a nice game in Session One that turned out to be only 58%. My friends and bridge aquaintances were scoring in the 68%-72% range.

I looked to see how they did it. Here is how - they opened 1NT on every hand with 13-17 HCP even with a five card major. 13 HCP and a worthless doubleton - 1NT. And they got away with it almost EVERY time, as the Gib defenders defended worse than novices in Wednesday afternoon duplicate. They routinely had 80% on these hands. And they got 50%-70% scores on the other hands, even though they misplayed/misdefended some.

In Session Two I thought I'd try their approach. I got slaughtered on three of the first four hands, as the robots bid and defended double dummy. So I reverted back to “sane” bridge for the last 8 boards and managed a decent score. But I concluded I will not participate in the “real thing” because it takes talent I do not have. And I think many people will choose to do the same.
July 6
Carl Hudecek edited this comment July 6
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I played in the Practice Match. My Robot pard
opened 4C in first seat, NV vs V. I held
KQ5 A9xxxx K K63 and after much deliberation I
passed, expecting to lose two aces plus probably
a heart trick playing in clubs; or two aces plus
two hearts playing in hearts.

Lo and behold, LHO bid 4S around to me.
I passed, expecting to take one spade and a heart
on defense, and perhaps the C ace. (I have played
against robots before, and doubling for penalty
usually does NOT work.)

We got plus 300 (three down) for a poor score,
partner holding TWO aces!

All in all, the 12 boards rewarded good card
play, most having two or three optional play lines.
July 5
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It is not clear how one goes to “ACBL WORLD”. Using the “old version” of BBO I was able to get to a www ACBL page, and verify my ACBL number, but I saw no “ACBL WORLD” page.

Also I saw NOTHING on how to sign up for this practice event.

Could someone provide me with help on this?
July 4
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I might have to temper or modify my accolades of Sontag, because last evening I saw him PRACTICING bidding with Cayne on BBO, with discussions on the meaning of suit rebids by both opener and responder, with and without competition, after major suit openings.

If Sontag has to remember AND EMPLOY this cumbersome stuff, it MAY take away some of his natural advantage of speed and instinct.
May 31
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Simple soul that I am, I would win a high heart in dummy, Play a D to the King, play SK and a spade to the ace, and if (as expected) the SQ does not fall, I would finesse D.

Why should you bring psycholgy into the equation?
May 29
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I have repeatedly seen bad concessions in big team games.

It's like declarer is afraid to insult the expert defenders, and vice versa, so they simply concede when there still exists a potentially successful line.
May 2
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Should Golfer Lexi Thompson be barred for life?
April 27
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In response to several people above:

Teaching young folks simplified bridge at 8 to 10 years of age, and having this simple, convention-free, agreement-free bridge be the game that is played in tournaments, would allow the kids to IMMEDIATELY follow the game and play the game on electronic devices and “live”, a habit which would / could keep them engaged with bridge their entire lives.

There is enough to bridge hands to make the game very interesting, without the OBSTACLE (yes, the discouraging obstacle) of having to learn complex systems and memorize agreements, and not know what is happening when you kibitz.
April 24
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Debbie, I mean B)for tournaments only.

The authority who assigns the first round of bidding for each of the four players could be a computer program.

The objective would be to level the playing environment across the field, and to make development of outside-the-rules agreements more difficult.
April 24
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Bill, what percent of the world's population cares about or is interested in bridge tournament results, including World Championships? My guess is a few million people at best - one tenth of one percent.

Why have newspapers around the world dropped their bridge columns? My guess is they realize interest is not very high.

In the 30-40-50's, a much higher percentage of people were interested in bridge, and actually played bridge. Of course there were far fewer competing activities, and the COST of playing at clubs or in tournaments was much lower - insignificant in fact.

Due to systems complexity of the modern game, kids are not interested in learning it. That's why I think the rules of bridge should mandate extreme simplicity, so that bridge can be an activity taught in elementary schools, with kids playing within the first hour.

To maintain their lifelong interest, the concept of simplicity should be maintained for tournament play.
April 24
Carl Hudecek edited this comment April 24
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My objective of eliminating / minimizing most conventions and special partnership agreements has the goal of making the game understandable to hundreds of millions of people worldwide, who currently do not kibitz because they dont know what the hell is going on in the auction, and in the leading and signalling during play.

That's why bridge is dying a slow death, with its rules set up to promote professional play and fixed partnerships with hundreds or thousands of pages of notes. That makes a beautiful game unattractive to the public in general, though it does provide a few hundred professionals with a good living, and a few hundred thousand players with something to do, including the BW brigade.

I'd like to see the game become popular to HUNDREDS of millions, if not billions, who could watch it on television and play / watch it on electronic devices. This won't happen without radical simplification, and bridge being taught in elementary schools.
April 23
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Richard: In regard to your questions:

1. A 1NT opening bid would show a balanced hand of
one to three tricks above average strength.

2. The auction 1H by LHO, double by partner, shows an interest in defending a heart contract.

3) Which card to normally lead from a long suit would be defined by the WWBO - probably 4th best.

4) Leading an ace probably would imply that leader does not own the king, so partner of the leader should play a higher spot to encourage, and the intuitive lowest spot to discourage.

Questions of the above type fall within definition of “standard”, the province of the WWBO.
April 23
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Michael, in regard to your first two questions, issues like these (defining “standard”) would be the province of worldwide bridge organizations(WWBO) to agree on.

The call “double” would suggest a desire to defend for penalties (regardless of the discomfiture of today's takeout doublers, who would soon adapt to the new definition.)

The definition of forcing bids (if any) would be the province of the WWBO, with the caveat that the variety of forcing bids would be minimal.

The “light third seat opening bid” it would not be a problem, since it would be common at all tables, with its limits defined by the WWBO - presumable a hand of average to above average strength with values in the opened suit.
April 23
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